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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 Feature Article by Dan Feinberg FEIN-LINE ASSOCIATES There have always been disruptive technol- ogies; thousands of years ago, fire totally dis- rupted the path of mankind. I have heard it said that truly disruptive technologies are like earthquakes on the seismographs of history. Some are so like old news to us living in the latter part of the first quarter of the 21 st centu- ry, but think what the world would be like if there had been no iron smelting, truly disrup- tive back in 1200 BCE, or gunpowder discov- ered by accident by a Chinese alchemist back in the 8th century CE. How about something as simple as using latex to create rubber a few hundred years ago? There can be no argument regarding the dis- ruption caused by the development of the use of moving electrons t o g e n e ra t e p owe r with credit going to Benjamin Franklin, followed by Edison, Volta and one of my favorite tech heroes, Nikola Tesla. Did you know that in 1891, Nikola Tesla invented a device that could transmit electricity through the air? It could power lightbulbs and electric motors wirelessly, but only at a distance of a few feet. It may have been short range and in- efficient, but it was 1891 after all. No one can dispute the disruption to civiliza- tion's path caused by the invention and devel- opment of heavier-than-air flight started by the Wright brothers' first 12-second manned flight over a century ago (Figure 3). And as time con- tinued to march on, there were vacuum tubes and basic electronics (I=E/R) then nuclear fis- Figure 1: The Chinese invented gunpowder in the 9 th century during the late Tang dynasty. Figure 2: Nikola Tesla.

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